At this moment in time where oil dropped below $30/barrel, we need all of our energy to develop meaningful products with customer benefits that go beyond green. We need to demonstrate together with our customers and partners that bio-based products are meaningful innovations and that our renewable value chains will reduce overall system costs even in a $30/barrel world.
In that environment, it is important to team up. Team up with biomass suppliers, biopolymer companies, compounders and brand owners. Co-develop but also co-commercialize. Changing value chains from fossil-based to bio-based is a tremendous effort and requires multiple competencies that no company has all in-house.
But this goes further than collaboration through the value chain. This is also about working with industry peers. For our industry to thrive, multiple strong players are needed. Customers don’t want to find themselves depending on one or two (emerging) companies. They want to have security of supply and always want to have a choice.
It is in this spirit of working towards a common goal that Reverdia signed a deal with BioAmber. Both companies are active in bio-succinic acid. Both companies use a yeast-based fermentation manufacturing technology. And yet Reverdia agreed to provide a non-assert agreement to BioAmber on certain intellectual property conditions of Reverdia’s Biosuccinium™ technology.
On top of that, the non-assert agreement provides comfort to both BioAmber and Reverdia to continue the implementation of their respective businesses using their own unique, proprietary yeast-based technologies.
I am firm believer in Open Innovation. In my time at DSM I have practiced this approach in many different ways by (i) licensing out the PER.C6® cell line for the manufacture of therapeutic proteins together with biotech company Crucell, (ii) in my role as Managing Director of Venturing & Licensing for DSM where licensing technology and investing in start-ups proved to be excellent ways of getting access to new technologies for DSM. And at Reverdia, we launched our licensing strategy in October 2014 to complement sales of Biosuccinium™ from our plant in Cassano.
At Reverdia, we will continue practicing open innovation throughout the value chain because we believe the bio-based economy needs collaborators. Not companies that hold each other hostage over IP.